Open Logistics Management Information System
VillageReach is a non-profit organization working in the area of medical logistics, especially the last mile delivery of medicines to remote rural areas in Africa. It was established in 2001 and is based in Seattle, U.S. VillageReach develops, tests, implements, and scales new solutions to critical health system challenges in low-resource environments. Its mission is to save lives and improve health by increasing access to quality healthcare for the most underserved communities.
We worked with VillageReach on numerous projects. One of them is OpenLMIS (Open Logistics Management Information System), which is a combination of domain experts in logistics and supply chains, eHealth information systems, software development for low-resource settings, and process improvement. Like other open initiatives, the intention is to ensure OpenLMIS becomes the place for sharing information about LMIS planning, requirements and system design, promoting interoperability between systems, developing open source solutions and galvanizing interest in a shared vision for effective, scalable and sustainable solutions.
The mission of OpenLMIS is to collaboratively develop shared, open-source software in order to improve health commodity distribution in low and middle income countries.
The vision of OpenLMIS is a world where all countries have the logistics data they need to manage their supply chain effectively in order to save lives.
While successfully deployed in multiple countries and solving people’s problems in the field, the most widely used version 1 and the most recent version 2 of OpenLMIS (the beginning of 2016) are not without flaws. Features developed for countries were not shared and lived in different codebases – diverging forks of OpenLMIS were being created in order to facilitate deployments across countries with different problems, needs and ways of approaching logistics. The reuse of features was a difficult and non-transparent process.
Because of this, VillageReach decided to build version 3 of OpenLMIS from scratch, using the already-existing business logic as reference, but focusing more on extensibility and modularity, while at the same time taking into consideration the lessons learned from previous versions and their deployments.
SolDevelo worked on OpenLMIS implementations in Mozambique and Benin in the past, as well as on other projects from VillageReach. The re-architecture and rewrite of OpenLMIS is the biggest joint endeavor for the two organizations.
We have been working closely with VillageReach in order to the ongoing development of OpenLMIS version 3. We have laid out the microservice architecture, an extensibility model, as well as tied it all together in a reference distribution. Moreover, we have repurposed the old version 2 user interface to work as a standalone AngularJS application that works as the reference UI for the reference distribution. We are using the business logic from version 2, adjusting it as we go along the way, refactoring it into an easily extensible and flexible micro-service based solution.
Per the recommended deployment topology OpenLMIS implementations can be hosted on AWS. An EC2 instance is used to host the microservices, and an RDS is used as an underlying database. An ELB can be set up in front of the OpenLMIS stack optionally for load balancing. Route53 and AWS Certificate Manager can be used for domain registration and requesting the SSL certificate. Both the existing implementations and current OpenLMIS test deployments utilize the AWS stack.
The current SolDevelo team working on OpenLmis is 10 people. A team of around 10 is also engaged from the VillageReach side. Development on the side of SolDevelo is divided into 2 sub-teams.
“SolDevelo has been a powerful partner in the development of the OpenLMIS software. They quickly ramped up a skilled development team with expertise in the complex tools our project needed, and have made a lasting contribution to OpenLMIS version 3. Their work on this project will have significant global impact.”